Playtime with smalls – dream vs reality
I think it’s pretty safe to say that before we have children we often sit and dream about what our babies will be like as they get older. We fantasise about these amazing little angels who behave all the time and play nicely by themselves or with their siblings, and never get bored or need stimulating because we *of course* will be perfect parents who are always giving their precious offspring stimulating and fun activities to do.
Children. Are. Monsters.
They are beautiful, sweet and funny, they can be so loving; and they’re the best thing that has ever happened to us; but they are still little monsters.
Grumpy. Difficult. Little. Monsters.
Because the problem is they are still learning about their world, pushing boundaries, exploring *everything*, and throwing ridiculously big tantrums over the smallest of things. But we deal with it because we know they don’t know how to control their emotions and are responding to frustration the only way they know how. They are learning.
This, however; does tend to make everyday life with smalls rather stressful at times. We spend all of our time looking after these little people; feeding them, comforting them, washing and dressing them; and as if that’s not stressful enough without having the added guilt that you should also be providing them with fun and stimulating activities that are also educational!
Over time you come to learn that there are tried and tested games and activities that your smalls enjoy, but these just aren’t enough, and that’s when you start to struggle.
In this section I’ll be writing about different indoor and outdoor activities that you can do with your smalls. Sometimes it can be the simplest little things that keep them happy, so that’s what I’ll be keeping an eye out for!
Simple, cheap and easy 🙂
A tried and tested favourite
There’s one activity that Jacob has always loved and that’s a water play station. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, has lots of stuff to play with or it doesn’t; the simple act of playing with water is a brilliant way to keep your smalls entertained!
Personally I think it’s more fun to play this outside, as it doesn’t matter if water gets everywhere. But obviously it’s just water so it’s not necessarily the end of the world if things do get wet inside.
Jacob enjoys the water station most when we give him different kitchen utensils and other kitchen bits to play with. I honestly never knew anyone could have that much fun with a colander…
In the past we have made different types of water play stations, such as:
- Kitchen utensils/ pans etc
- Lots of different sized and coloured cups (plastic)
- Mini buckets and spades and other seaside toys such as sand moulds
- Bath toys (even better if you add bubbles)
- Bottles and straws
Click the images to enlarge
What I like about a water play station is that they can be so versatile, there are so many different ways that you can make it fun.
You could even add a small amount of food colouring to the water to add more novelty to it 🙂 (though I wouldn’t advise doing this inside).
You could also make it into a treasure hunting game by adding some food colouring to the water to make it darker and then throw in some large colourful beads and other shiny bits and pieces that you think your little one will like and then use a sieve to find the treasure 🙂
These games are great as they will keep your small entertained and stimulated and they won’t even get grubby playing this! Bonus!
Introducing different items into this activity will keep it fresh and stop it getting boring; and thankfully the clean-up time is minimal.
– E x